Over the past few months I have used many images from both amateur and professional photographers to help illustrate my writings and thoughts. The one thing I enjoy most is the artful approach to many nude photographers and models. The two parties are extremely professional and they tend to tell a story through the location, props, lighting, and facial expressions of the model. As I look at them and admire the picture, I put myself in their setting, and I can almost feel what he or she is feeling or thinking. It’s like a metaphysical type of connection and I begin to make up a story behind the emotions. What would make me feel like they are feeling right now? Is it hope? Despair? Tranquility? Who knows. Some artist appear to remove their old life by removing everything about it, including their clothes.
The story behind the photographic set is so important. It gives the model and photographer the mood that is to be achieved while conducting the shoot. Almost like the narrative to a good drama movie where the actors must get “in character” to perform. I would much prefer an artistic shoot where the model is feeding into a silent story-line than one with just random or provocative shots. It’s like having the choice of watching Fifty Shades of Gray over some cheap pornographic film. To me, there’s no comparison in what you feel with one over the other. Same thing with artistic nudity. What is it that the model is trying to portray to us? Is he or she telling us how they feel and allowing us a glimpse into their life through their emotional joys or despairs?
Maybe I am just sensitive to it right now because of my relationship and life being flipped around, but the artists and models who portray sadness seem to be my favorite. When I look into the eyes of a model who is either broken or presenting that persona, I can’t help but feel what he/she feels like. You can see the emptiness in their eyes, the heartbreak in their soul, and uncertainty in their distant stares. I sit here and say to myself, I feel you sweetie and I know what you are going through. We may not be going through the same struggles, but the emotional “connection” with this character is oddly relieving.
Conversely, when I see models who story portray a sense of liveliness, excitement, joy, and other forms of happiness and content, I can’t help but think about how I feel when shedding my clothes from an emotional or taxing day. It’s like an uplifting feeling of euphoria. Sometimes I will lay out my yoga mat in my bedroom floor, start some meditation music, and just lay there staring at the ceiling while losing myself in my thoughts. Depending on the day I may begin my mindful meditation practice where I consciously think about and “reach” for each part of my body. Feeling the energy and tension flowing through the very essence of my soul. As I lay there, I reflect on the emotions I have been feeling and think back on the artistic views of these silent story-lines, and I begin to uplift myself by connecting myself to these characters in the story.
I like to ponder how nudity makes a model feel, what prompted them to try it, and were they comfortable doing it their first time? I would like to think it was a moment of enlightenment where they realize how being naked made them feel. Were they shy and scared before, and how did taking their clothes off for the camera help them? How did it affect their story and the emotions they are showing us? My hope is the models and artists find this to be a freeing form of life and vigor, and they keep doing it personally. Even if it is in the privacy of their own home or with friends.
Follow Your Story
Personally, I believe a picture is worth a 1,000 words, but, like I mentioned above, it can also bring emotions and connections. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have one of these nude photo shoots, and how it would make me feel about myself and others “seeing” me for who I am. In an ideal scenario I think it would be fun to try it in a small, intimate setting with a photographer who is open and non-judgemental. I don’t think I would enjoy the glamour shots per se, but I think an outdoor setting where I can be one with nature would allow me to make myself vulnerable enough to try.
Admittedly, it brings a lot of excitement and anxiety to just think about, but then I wonder how my experience and thoughts would help someone else come to terms with their body and nakedness. Could it be another avenue for someone to experience a nudist life, or at least get a taste of what it’s like to accept their body for how it’s made, and see themselves as a nudist would see them? Possibly. I would like to think any way to help someone accept themselves naked is a step in the right direction for them and our community.
My story would probably start as one of confusion as I seek to understand my body, then excitement as I begin to learn about a new lifestyle and it’s great benefits. Next it would move into a form of sadness because I know my family and friends would not understand it, then a feeling of despair because I feel trapped in a textile life. Finally, I would move into the later stages of happiness and contentment where I have accepted who I am and what I look like. The final stage would bring a smile to my face because I have made it to the point where I don’t care what others think.
My decision to be and live naked is mine to make and mine alone. Just like your decision to live nude, explore your sexuality, or for those of you who desire the non-tradition style of a submissive/dominant relationship. For once in my life I have finally found that happiness and contentment, and I’ve come to the realization that I would sacrifice a lot just to have it. Why? Because it has made me a better person by using nudism to release my demons and bring joy and acceptance into my life.
Help Someone Else
Do you have someone in your life who is on the fence or struggling with their body, and needs a bit of encouraging with accepting their body? I could think of a few people right now could use a bit of encouragement and positive thinking about their bodies. We can use artistic nudity as a segue to a much deeper conversation about body acceptance and body positive thoughts. We could recommend a nude photo shoot with this friend to help them overcome a fear of being naked. Personally, I know that having a nude photo shoot is terrifying for me, and maybe you too, but if you did it together it could help you both to overcome some fears.
Like the professional models, you could have a naked story through pictures where you’re either living through a sad or joyous moment, or you’re reenacting a past event that you can now comfortably tell. Whatever the scenario or story line it would make for a great photo session, and you would have another story to tell about the adventures you took with your friend or loved one. Can you imagine the water cooler or Christmas dinner discussion over this? I think it would be well received and interest the most unexpected parties.
I’m going to entertain the idea of a naked photo shoot sometime in the not too distant future. Maybe you should too.
Stay naked. Stay warm. “Winter is coming and the nights are long”
4 thoughts on “Accepting Your Nudity Through Art”
I once did a naked photo shoot. I have to admit at first I was apprehensive thinking about my naked body being displayed publicly, however I went a head with it and was glad I did. The photographer was very professional and that did a lot to put me at ease. After the first few pictures were taken I totally opened up to it — I always said I wanted to normalize nudity and this let me put my money where my mouth was. The whole shoot lasted about 90 minutes and I didn’t want it to end then. I felt like I contributed in a small way to art and was pleased to see the pictures later.
I plan to do the same thing no matter how nervous it makes me. I won’t share them, but it will give me a good story to tell to help someone.
I recently did a little photoshoot by my self. In nature. It was not easy although I am used to being naked in nature. It is confronting to look at your body the way others see it. But it helps so much to learn to be comfortable with who you are. Although I will not show them to friends and family, it gave myself a positive boost. And I am sure, I will do it more often, because I can do it whenever i feel like it. Starting with making your own story all by yourself can perhaps be a jump to a photoshoot with a photographer. Just try and be happy with who you are. Thanks Alexis for another clarifying and inspiring post.
That is very brave of you to do and very encouraging for me to hear. I think it would be a great experience to do the same thing. Finding an isolated place where the setting itself feeds into the story, and enhances the experience for you and the people who may (or may not) see the images. I’ve seen one young photographer who seeks out old, abandoned houses/mansions, and she sets up her own camera to do self portraits which tell an amazing story. I’m not sure I would be brave enough to trespass, but I absolutely love the idea. I think it’s worth a try. 🙂